HomeEntertainmentNorm Macdonald Dead at 61, SNL Releases Heart-wrenching Statement: ‘Today is a Sad Day’

Norm Macdonald Dead at 61, SNL Releases Heart-wrenching Statement: ‘Today is a Sad Day’

by Quentin Blount
Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic

Following the passing of longtime comedian Norm Macdonald, Saturday Night Live has officially released a statement.

For five years from 1993 to 1998, Norm Macdonald was a mainstay on Saturday Night Live. He was the sole anchor of the show’s Weekend Update segment for three seasons. On Tuesday, though, Macdonald passed away after a nearly decade-long battle with cancer. The surprising news was heartwrenching for all of us. A spokesperson for Saturday Night Live explained as much.

“Today is a sad day. All of us here at SNL mourn the loss of Norm Macdonald, one of the most impactful comedic voices of his or any other generation,” they said in a statement. “There are so many things that we’ll miss about Norm — from his unflinching integrity to his generosity to his consistent ability to surprise. But most of all, he was just plain funny. No one was funny like Norm.”

Talk about an accurate statement. Macdonald was a comedic legend in his own right. But this example just goes to show that people who put on a smile, and even the ones who can make everybody else laugh, can be suffering in one way or another. And for Norm Macdonald, he suffered from cancer in private for nearly ten years. He kept his battle from those closest to him and even from his fans. According to his longtime producing partner, Lori Jo Hoekstra, he didn’t want people to define him by having cancer.

“He was most proud of his comedy,” she explained. “He never wanted the diagnosis to affect the way the audience or any of his loved ones saw him. Norm was a pure comic. He once wrote that ‘a joke should catch someone by surprise, it should never pander.’ He certainly never pandered. Norm will be missed terribly.”

Late Night Television Hosts Pay Their Respects to Norm Macdonald on Social Media

Just about everyone has been impacted by the loss of Norm Macdonald. And other than his friends and family, those who were perhaps hit the hardest were other television hosts in the industry. The Quebec City native was a frequent guest on The Late Show With David Letterman.

“In every important way, in the world of stand-up, Norm was the best. An opinion shared by me and all peers,” Letterman said in a statement. “Always up to something, never certain, until his matter-of-fact delivery leveled you. I was always delighted by his bizarre mind and earnest gaze. (I’m trying to avoid using the phrase, ‘Twinkle in his eyes.’) He was a lifetime Cy Young winner in comedy. Gone, but impossible to forget.”

Similarly, Macdonald sat across from Conan O’Brian more than 20 times on TBS’ Conan.

“I am absolutely devasted about Norm Macdonald. Norm had the most unique comedic voice I have ever encountered and he was so relentlessly and uncompromisingly funny. I will never laugh that hard again. I’m so sad for all of us today.”